Porsche Becoming Volume Brand
While it may not be on the cusp of supplanting Toyota in terms of sales, the Porsche brand has enjoyed relatively consistent growth since 2009. Despite 2020 representing a poor sales year for just about everyone who wasn’t producing vaccines, the German manufacturer weathered the storm better than most and came back to break a few records the following year.
By the end of 2021, Porsche had sold nearly 302,000 vehicles globally. It also managed to break its previous sales records in China and the United States. Considering that global production volumes have remained suppressed by supply chain problems, it was an impressive accomplishment. However, Detlev von Platen, Executive Board Member Sales & Marketing at Porsche AG, believes the automaker can still outdo itself in 2022.
Speaking with Automobilwoche, von Platen indicated the 40,000-person company would be seeking to hire another 400 pairs of hands to help with elevated demand. With the right kind of people and a little luck, he suggested this year could be the best the company has ever had. But, even if the stars fail to align perfectly, von Platen isn’t worried about volume.
“When I look at the current orders, I’m confident for 2022. Growth in sales could reach a similarly high level this year as in 2021,” he told the outlet, adding that wait times certain on models had reached 12 months.
Porsche spent decades as a low-volume automaker specializing in high-performance vehicles. But it has historically made attempts to improve its volume, often resulting in short-term successes that foreshadow an evaporating market share.
It’s been a while since we’ve seen a collapse. Minus the previous recession, sailing has been relatively smooth ever since the automaker launched the Porsche Cayenne in 2002. The company has since moved into manufacturing fewer sports coupes to focus on the Panamera sedan and Macan crossover, both of which outsell the iconic 911 by huge margins. Though it would be a lie to suggest that deliveries of the brand’s two-door options were poor.
Porsche’s quest for volume has also been helped by its merger with Volkswagen, which offered access to its vast manufacturing capabilities and technology borrowed from the Audi brand. In fact, Porsche’s best-selling model (the Macan) shares a platform with the Audi Q5 while the larger Cayenne overlaps with the Q7.
But the company has committed itself, along with the rest of Volkswagen Group, to swiftly transition into selling EVs. While this remains a dangerous proposal if those products fail to deliver, sales of the Porsche Taycan doubled in 2021 (vs 2020) and now rival 911 volumes in markets where they’re sold together. The automaker is planning to launch an electrified Macan in 2023, followed by battery-powered versions of the 718 Boxster and Cayman.
But it remains to be seen if the adoption rate of EVs will keep pace with Porsche’s plan to implement them. Despite the electric segment enjoying some healthy growth of its own, EVs still only represent 3 percent of the total market. With Porsche having grown quite a bit over the last two decades and plans to dive headlong back into motorsport, it needs to figure out how to sell alternative-energy vehicles without nuking volume or alienating its customer base in the short term.
Bullnuke on Feb 09, 2022
In 1971 I was perusing the brochure for 911s at the Porsche dealership in Salt Lake City. One of the pages in the brochure depicted the hand-crafted care in building "your new 911" with a car on a rotisserie having undercoating brush-applied by a white coated technician at their factory. These days that factory must have a large number of brush-toting undercoating robots working on a ferris wheel of rotisseries to deal with being a volume brand. What a world. EDIT: I ended up passing on the 911 and purchased a '68 912. I wonder if 912s were hand-crafted and brush coated?
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